Colombo, May 26 (NIA) – The United Nations on Friday said it stood ready to support Sri Lanka as the death toll from severe floods and landslides reached over 25.
UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Sri Lanka Resident Representative, Una McCauley said in an official twitter message, “Rising death toll is very saddening, hope rescue efforts are escalated to meet the need – UN stands ready to support.”
The death toll from the floods and landslides reached over 25 by Friday noon with the tri forces deployed in several areas to conduct search and rescue operations.
At least seven landslides have been reported from the Ratnapura and Kalutara Districts in south central and southern Sri Lanka and authorities fear the over all death toll could rise.
The Sri Lanka Red Cross said half a million people had been so far affected by the severe rains.
“Incessant rains during the past 48 hours across Sri Lanka has affected over half a million people in 7 districts. Most affected was the Rathnapura district where over 20,000 people faced flash floods,” the Sri Lanka Red Cross said.
Earlier the Irrigation Department released a warning requesting people living near the river banks in key rivers to be vigilant of rising water levels. In most parts they have been requested to evacuate.
The Sri Lanka Disaster Management Center said that Ratnapura town had been completely inundated due to the overflowing of the Kalu River and mass evacuations were being carried out.
The authorities have also issued emergency telephone numbers for those needing to be rescued.
Meanwhile parliamentary proceedings were suspended by political party leaders on Friday due to the ongoing disaster situation.
The government assured it would provide support to all those affected by the floods and landslides.
More rains are expected in Sri Lanka on Friday with the Meteorology Department warning that some areas could experience heavy showers up to 150 mm.